[October 4th 2006]
[Verse Heading] The heading is the first four lines from the last verse of “The Song of the Bower” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, correctly quoted here but incorrectly in "To be Filed for Reference".
[Page 147, line 2] Mrs Hauksbee see the Headnote.
[Page 147, lines 5 & 11] Mrs Mallowe (Polly) see the Headnote.
[Page 147, line 13] Alice in Wonderland more properly Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Revd Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832-1898).
[Page 147, line 16] “Hawley Boy” a ‘Lieutenant at large’ according to the description in “Mrs Hauksbee Sits Out”, who was taken under Mrs Hauksbee’s wing. He appears in “The Education of Otis Yeere”, “A Second-Rate Woman”, “A Supplementary Chapter”, “Mrs Hauksbee Sits Out”, and also gets a mention in “The Last of the Stories”.
[Page 148, line 1] “uninstruite” a faux-French word derived from instruire meaning to teach. Thus 'uninstruite' means untaught.
[Page 148, line 2] Ouida an English novelist, best known for Under Two Flags, 1867, and Moths, 1880. Her real name was Louise de la Ramée (1839-1908).
[Page 148, line 2] affidavit a written declaration on oath.
[Page 148, line 4] Collector in charge of the Revenue assessment of a District and sometimes also having magisterial duties.
[Page 148, line 8] Mrs Reiver see the Headnote.
[Page 148, line 12] “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” a quotation from the Aeneid of Virgil, Book II, meaning: “I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts” – said by Laocoön about the Wooden Horse at Troy. Kipling used the last three words as the title of an 1896 poem, collected in The Five Nations (1903).
[Page 148, lines 18 to 21] jharun coats duster coats, made of coarse cloth. From the context in the story, Hawley also favoured “loud” patterns.
scoriac ashy or lava-like. The quotation, from Edgar Allan Poe's (1809-1849) "Ulalume", consists of only three odd lines out of the ten in the second stanza, which runs:
Here once, through an alley Titanic,[Page 149, line 4] à la Madonna innocent, like the Virgin Mary. [ORG]
[Page 149, line 5] Théo probably the heroine of Sardou's Theodora (1884). One of the most famous parts played by Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), the celebrated English actress. [ORG]
[Page 149, line 7] Lilith said to be the first wife of Adam before Eve was created. [ORG]
[Page 149, line 11] Magic Lantern the fore-runner of the Cinematograph, showing only slides. However some illusion of movement could be achieved by means of dissolving views.
[Page 149, line 17] Fancy Ball Fancy Dress Ball.
[Page 149, line 18] ’98 This refers to the year 1798 since in the next few lines Kipling compares the hairstyle to that shown in engravings of Madame Récamier.
[Page 149, line 21] Récamier Madame Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaide Récamier (1777-1849) was a famous French beauty and wit who kept a literary and political salon in Paris, and was a friend of Madame de Staël.
[Page 149, line 23] The Black Death an Oriental (Bubonic) plague which caused pus-filled sores and black blotches on the skin. It reached Europe in the fourteenth century and mortality rates were very high. The Great Plague of London in 1665 was just one of many outbreaks of the disease.
[Page 149, line 24] domino a loose cloak worn as fancy dress with a small mask. In 1886, Kipling wrote a poem with the title “Pink Dominoes” which was collected in Departmental Ditties. It has been annotated for this Guide by Roberta Baldi.
[Page 149, line 25] puffery frills. [ORG]
[Page 150, line 2] keel-backed cicalas or cicadas, ridge-backed insects making shrill, harsh whistling, like grass-hoppers. The item worn in her hair by Mrs Hauksbee must have had a mechanically operated sound-generator.
[Page 150, line 7] Autolycus In Greek mythology Autolycus was the son of Hermes and Chione and was renowned as the master-thief of antiquity. His daughter Anticleia married Laertes and became the mother of Odysseus who inherited his grandfather’s talents. Shakespeare in The Winter's Tale uses the name for one character who claims that like his namesake, he is “a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.”
[Page 150, line 17] Platonic Paragon Trewinnard, a worthy but dull Departmental Head who had been under Mrs Mallowe’s tutelage for three years.
[Page 150, line 25] billiards English Billiards is played with just one red ball and two white cue balls (one with a mark), as opposed to snooker which has 21 coloured balls and one white cue ball.
[Page 151, line 8] Main Girder Boom the principal member or support of a bridge or structure.
[Page 151, lines 8-9] Kutcha, Pukka, Bundobust and Benaoti Department an imaginary department title of contradictory properties.
Kutcha means 'of poor quality or second class'.
Pukka means first class or proper.
Bundobust means agreement or arrangement.
Benaoti in the Kipling Journal No.244 (Dec 1987, p.51), Mr Athar Tahir suggests that this word “in all probability refers to practitioners of benoat, the Muslim art of self-defence. It was taught at several educational institutions in the early decades of this century. The Aligarh University employed a regular benoat teacher. It involved the use of bare hands, handkerchief, dagger, sword and staff (or lathi).”
[Page 151, line 10] Three Taped Bashaw Hobson-Jobson defines a Bashaw as an old form of what we now call pasha, meaning a ‘lord’ or ‘master’. ‘Three taped’ might refer to the number of tapes used to fasten an office docket for a senior administrator. However, Brewers’ Dictionary of Phrase & Fable gives the following a description which is also a possible explanation:
A three-tailed bashaw. A beglerbeg or prince of princes among the Turks, having a standard of three horse-tails borne before him.[Page 152, line 4] Almirah and Thannicutch is another pseudo-department title.
Almirah means wardrobe or chest of drawers.
Thannicutch in the ORG definition ‘appears to be intended to mean an arrangement for supporting something.’
[Page 152, line 6] The Elect senior officials. [ORG]
[Page 152, line 10] The Uncovenanted the staff of certain Departments of the Administration were not covenanted or under contract and therefore less certain of their position than the Indian Civil Service. [ORG]
[Page 152, line 15] anatomised dissected, taken to pieces.
[Page 153, line 3] high-falutin[g] slang for bombastic, affected or pompous.
mindsome lay the adjective is not in the dictionary. Perhaps the meaning of the complete phrase is to suggest a pompous, and to Mrs Reiver, a high-minded attitude to the annexation of Trewinnard.
[Page 153, line 9] vain to the marrow full of vanity, through and through.
[Page 153, line 10] returned his lead gave him opportunity to display his intellect. The term is taken from the card game of whist or bridge.
[Page 153, line 11] out-trumped him Mrs Reiver was even more conceited than Trewinnard. Again, the term is taken from the card game of whist or bridge.
[Page 153, line 17] “ours” this can only be used correctly in an "official matter” by some one in an official position, a wife say. Otherwise, permission must be sought to use it. [ORG]
[Page 154, line 10] shaprassi or chaprassi. A uniformed office messenger.
[Page 154, line 14] quicksilver metallic mercury, which is a liquid at room temperature.
[Page 154, line 15] confidantes a person entrusted with secrets. The ORG comments: ‘This is in the feminine plural, note!’
[Page 154, line 20] grey-headed oyster an old Hindu clerk who does not easily open his mouth. [ORG]
[Page 154, line 24] “tripping” perhaps “week-ending”. Naldera was 12 miles from Simla. Kotghar is nearly 50 miles. [ORG]
[Page 154, line 25 and page 155, lines 1 to 5] fools gave feasts and wise men ate them. . . substance for the shadow. . . carried coals to Newcastle. These are just three of several common sayings picked out from this paragraph. [ORG]
[Page 155, line 6] Curé of Meudon François Rabelais (1494-1553), satirist and lover of truth and justice, author of Gargantua and Pantagruel .
[Page 155, line 12] snuffed scented in the hunting sense. Hatchett smelled the battle from afar.
[Page 155, line 19] Resolution a formal statement of opinion.
daftri the office messenger in charge of stationery. [ORG]
[Page 155, line 22] Thug acted like a member of one of the gangs of murdering robbers who were active in India in the 1800s. Kali was their patron goddess.
[Page 156, line 3] Jonahed made the Jonah or scapegoat.
[Page 156, line 7] compromised settled by concessions on both sides. [ORG]
[Page 156, line 12] “Between the Devil and the Deep Sea” Kipling published a story with this title in 1895. See notes for this guide by Alastair Wilson, in which he explains:
The phrase itself is of nautical origin. The devil, in this case, is the lowermost seam in the hull of a wooden ship (strictly, there are two ‘devils’ one on each side of the keel). These seams get their name from the fact that they are the most difficult to get at, whether from inside or outside the ship. It is a literal fact that there is 'nothing between the devil and the deep sea' [A.W.]
[Page 156, line 14] hacked and furred cut about and frayed.
[Page 156, line 20] D.O. Dockets demi-official digests. [ORG]
[Page 157, line 5] ayah nursemaid or lady’s maid.
[Page 157, line 21] she has digged this trap for him see Psalm 35, verse 7 and Jeremiah xviii, 20. [ORG]
[Page 158, line 2] dispraise censure.
[Page 158, lines 2 & 3] Paul de Cassagnac Editor of Le Pays of Paris from 1866. He was a politician, duellist and litigant (1843-1904).
[Page 159, lines 5 & 6] ladies do not usually call upon bachelors at their houses. Although the meaning of this is obvious, it underlines the risks to her reputation that Mrs Mallowe took that evening.
[Page 159, line 11] ’rickshaw abbreviation for jinrickshaw, a two-wheeled hooded carriage drawn by a man (jampani).
[Page 159, line 23] duftar office.
[Page 159, line 24] baize a coarse felt-like cloth.
[Page 160, line 21] unpruned Trewinnard had made no attempt to cut out redundant words and phrases to tighten up his reply.
[Page 161, line 19] trumpery worthless.
[Page 161, line 24] mere unseeing male—Thackeray has said it. This Thackeray source is unidentified. Any suggestions will be welcomed.
[Page 162, line 20] “Come back” it is usually thought that grouse call “go back, go back”, but perhaps the guinea-fowl's curious cluck could be made out as “come back”. [ORG]
[Page 163, line 2] carneying, blarneying meaning wheedling, flattering or cajoling.
[Page 163, line 18] bearer house servant.
[Page 163, line 19] Salaam bolta this literally means 'she spoke greetings', its practical equivalent is an invitation to come in. [ORG]
©David Page 2006 All rights reserved